Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A message on the good that can come from suffering.


2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pastor Brian Matherlee

I recall a “Far Side” cartoon that has a cowboy filled with arrows and he says to his partner, “It hurts Clem….but it’s a good hurt.”

What good can come from suffering?

1. God is the Father of compassion and comfort

a. We cannot birth comfort or compassion from any other source.

b. People can drown or numb themselves to trouble but the trouble will be more disturbing than ever. They can seek solace in the arms of another relationship but find multiplied sorrows.

c. I have heard it is better to be lonely and alone than lonely with company.

d. God’s comfort goes beyond our ability to comprehend. It is beyond explanation.

e. When the wind and waves came it was Jesus that spoke, “peace, be still”. The disciples were straining at the oars trying to get to a place of peace. Jesus didn’t have to get anywhere to find peace. He is peace!

2. Our hurt with His comfort for their hurt

a. Verse 4 tells us that God’s comfort is meant to overflow to the lives of the many around us who are hurting.

b. Our circumstances are not unique. We may feel like the only one and most initially believe no one could possibly understand. But somebody has been this way before.

c. Have you ever bought a new car and then noticed how many other people drive the same kind of car? It seemed rare until you bought it. Now everyone has one.

d. Someone gets a certain sickness and you discover that so many others have been through the same.

e. Our experiences let others know that they aren’t alone. It can give them hope when they see how God brought you through. Verse 6 expresses this truth.

3. Drives us to God

a. Verse 8 Paul points out the extreme nature of their suffering.

b. Suffering can lead to incredible despair. (Paul had reached a place of giving up on life).

4. It drives us to focus on ultimate deliverance

a. Verse 9 tells us that Paul believed in the resurrection of the dead.

b. Verse 10 goes on to proclaim the steadfast hope that deliverance would always come.

c. Paul didn’t mean that troubles would always have a conclusion on earth that we would ask for.

d. Paul did know that all troubles would ultimately cease.

e. I visited Don Jewell today. Don is fighting cancer. He told me, heaven’s not a bad destination. His concern is for his family and church. His heavenly hope gives him great confidence. He doesn’t look forward to the battle but has no fear of the end, either way God sees fit to tip the fight.

5. It rallies the troops

a. Prayer in a pinch is fervent prayer.

Tonight, don’t let your troubles dominate you. Recognize the position of victory Christ has placed you in. What can the devil do to you?

Two action steps:

• Seek God’s face

• Seek to comfort others

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